Employment Growth Hit 5-month High Amid Vaccine-led Economic Reopening

Asian businessman talking to coworkers about his project; Shutterstock ID 415652431

Malaysia’s labour market improved further as the jobless rate fell to 4.2% in October 2021, the lowest since March 2020.

This is contributed by the steady expansion of employment growth of +2.3%yoy while the number of unemployed persons reduced by -5.8%yoy, the largest contraction rate in 5-month.

Strengthening of the labour market is in line with the reopening of economic activities and relaxations of containment measures which started in late Sep-21.

“On top of that, we observed Malaysia’s job vacancy rate has shown steady upward momentum in which reflects that more jobs are available in the market. Looking ahead, we expect the labour market to continue improving underpinned by further economic reopening in the 4QCY21. We maintain our forecast that Malaysia’s jobless rate to average at 4.5% for 2021,” says MIDF.


“The number of job vacancies rose to a 3-month high at 222.3k in September 2021. The vacancies are expected to pick up, underpinned by the relaxations of containment measures and reopening of the domestic economy,” the research house says.

By sector, more jobs were created in the manufacturing as reflected in the rise of vacancies share while services remain the largest jobs deposit, 65.3% of total openings.

By type, more than 20% of the vacancies were for skilled positions or professionals. This was different from pre-pandemic which most of the vacancies were dominated by the low-skilled jobs namely operators and elementary occupations.

“We foresee further recovery of the domestic economy in the last two months of 2021 amid relaxations of containment measures, higher vaccination rates and improvements of the consumer as well as business sentiments. Hence, we maintain our forecast of Malaysia’s unemployment rate to average at 4.5% for 2021. As for next year, we predict the jobless rate to trend lower at 4% mainly supported by stronger domestic spending, continous pick-up in external trade and commodity-based sectors,” it says.

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